Quilts By Design

Dear Readers

For some time now I have had two quilt designs in the making. I have toyed with ideas and dawdled  with production and as time permitted added a bit here and there but up until mid September last year time was not a concern and I felt no need to rush. A couple of unexpected phone calls arriving within weeks of each other changed all that. Initially taken aback after each call  I was left contemplating the commitments I had just made and how on earth I was going to get these two quilts completed by December.

First came the invitation from Judy Newman at Expertise Events  (EE) in Sydney to participate as a tutor at the 2017 Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC). To be honest you could’ve  knocked me over with a feather, having been asked to take part based on a growing interest in my work.  I had no idea anyone knew who I was and I tell myself far too often “I’m not really a quilter’!!  Feeling very humbled, I gained composure, said yes and agreed to the proposal. When I received a second call a short time later from Clare Moody, the then editor of the Australian Quilters Companion Magazine, to ask if I would be interested in a studio profile and project article in the 2017 May Edition my heart jumped a beat.  Left feeling quite overwhelmed I thought “What has just happened”,  “are their people talking to my people”?   I recovered quickly enough to agree before my rational mind had time to rebut my decision.


So make what you will of timing, divine synchronicity and serendipity I was now committed and needed to get focussed and begin some serious work. Its all very well saying yes and being caught up in the whirlwind of validation but in reality I had agreed to two rather large projects, and there were now new obligations and timelines to meet. Amid my already busy working schedule my energy was fast running out by the time Christmas holidays 2016 came around.


Despite initial minor set backs,  I put my social life on hold and titch and appliqué I did til the ‘cows came home’. Now months later, it is March 2017 and quilt No1. ‘Tinellen Farm’ is complete. The article for the magazine has been drafted, the official photo shoot has taken place and the quilt has been sent to and now returned from Sydney where it was measured and I guess scrutinised within an inch of its life for the project profile. The quilt itself was a pleasure to create and a loving and sentimental project.  A combination of curved dresden plates, hexagons and squares make up the simple design however against a background of contemporary grey scale prints, I utilised old and discarded family linens  from our family farm in Western Australia. These included old tea towels, curtains, meat bags, cushion covers and a doily or two that my sister Terri and I collected on my visit to the farm in 2015. To counter the weariness of these older fabrics I combined  them with new prints including my favourite of all time gingham squares and dots. I taught some women in the studio how to hand quilt using Tinellen Farm to which another layer of love has been instilled. I showed my daughter how to paper piece the hexagons using the stitching method (as opposed to glue) and I even darned a couple of spots where the old linens have perished to which is added character and charm.

Christine Lethlean 0085

Quilt No. 2 Floreale Delizia (Floral Delight) is at hand quilting stage as I write. It will be ready along with Tinellen Farm for the AQC ‘Tutors Exhibition’ section. I have had some trouble with constructing this quilt due to the perils of using linen in the centre medallion and haste and mistakes on my part to get it completed. I am loathe to admit that I have had to unpick sections and tweak here and there but happy with how it has developed despite the hiccups. I do love needle turn appliqué and this quilt has a lot of this technique throughout. Again I have used a grey scale themed background with a colourful floral medallion and borders and love the way the colours have settled in with each other. Overall the design feels easy on the eye and uncluttered. My trademark backing and border is red and white gingham on the back and green and white gingham along the edge and I love it!!IMG_7023


I will be teaching these quilt designs over time. I have a contract with Australian Quilters Companion Magazine that I must oblige before patterns can be developed and distributed for Tinellen Farm. The pattern for Floral Delizia will be developed and ready for me to teach by June.

I do hope I get to see you at this years AQC 20 – 23 April. I will be working Thursday and Friday for Jane McDonald on the BeBeBold Stand and  if you are interested in my classes I will be teaching ‘A Floral Still Life’ on Saturday 22nd and ‘Vintage Keepsake’ on Sunday 23rd.

For more information go to http://aqc.com.au/class-timetable-2017/  http://www.universalmagazines.com.au/magazines/quilters-companion/

In the meantime, much love and creativity Cxx

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